Productive Plastics (Mount Laurel, NJ) is a leading plastics manufacturer specializing in heavy gauge thermoforming contract manufacturing. The company serves a wide variety of end markets including medical, automotive, signage, agricultural and transportation.
Crown Plastics (Festus, MO) is a leading supplier of plastic lighting enclosures. The company uses acrylic, polycarbonate and polyethylene to manufacture lighting components that are shipped all over the world.
A large thermoforming company recently worked with CMT specialists to implement a new material specifically designed to meet the challenges of heavy gauge forming. The company had already switched from heated aluminum to HYTAC syntactic foam plugs several years ago, realizing a 12% savings in plastic usage due to more consistent and repeatable forming. The finished part is now made from 0.150″ (3.81mm) HIPS on both rotary and single-stage machines.
The following comments came from a thermoformer who participated in a recent workshop where CMT was invited to speak. We think it provides excellent insight into the daily challenges faced by operators and how a small change can have an outsized impact.
Landmark Plastic Corporation of Akron, OH specializes in the manufacture of plastic horticultural plant packaging and growing systems. One popular product is a six cavity transport tray thermoformed from recycled polypropylene. Continuous improvement efforts identified an unacceptably high reject rate upon start up caused by tear-outs in the raised corners of the part. This offered an opportunity to review process and tooling.
In the summer of 2013, a major thermoforming company with operations in Latin America decided to perform testing on the newest thermoplastic syntactic, HYTAC® XTL. The tool designer and machine operators were already familiar with B1X and were using XTL for the first time. What follows is an excerpt from their report.
A leading North American thermoforming company recently made the switch from HYTAC WF to HYTAC XTL. The reasons for doing so highlight the dual advantages of aligning the choice of plug material with the rest of the thermoforming variables. In this case, the processor found a high rate of inconsistency across the plug surfaces which led to a higher rate of part failure.
It is one of our favorite thermoforming questions: “Which is more important – the plug material or the plug geometry?” It’s really a trick question, though, because the answer is usually, “It depends!” CMT Materials was recently approached by a customer with a stubborn plug mark on a cup. Together, we performed a test with 2 types of HYTAC® plug assist where multiple variables were involved.